Girls on the Run 5K Returns to USC Upstate May 1

April 15, 2021 at 4:47 pm

The Girls on the Run 5K Presented by Cigna will return to the University of South Carolina Upstate’s campus after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 800 people from across the region will descend on USC Upstate from 8-11 a.m. on Saturday, May 1, at the university’s Health Education Complex (HEC) at 300 N. Campus Blvd., Spartanburg. Masks and social distancing will be in place during the event.

Participants will include girls in third through eighth grades from Spartanburg, Greenville, Pickens and Anderson County schools and community centers, as well as their running companions and other community members.

The 5K is celebratory and non-competitive. Completion of the course will be the crowning achievement for those who committed to the eight-week Girls on the Run program that began in March at almost three dozen sites across the Upstate.

“During the Girls on the Run Program, girls grow both physically and emotionally as they prepare to complete the 5K event,” said Mary Ann Cleland, council director for Girls on the Run Upstate SC.

“It’s such a joy to see their smiles as they cross the finish line and to know that this experience has given them a tangible sense of accomplishment and a framework for setting and achieving life goals,” Cleland added. “We’re so grateful for our partnership with USC Upstate and excited to return to campus. It really is a great location for our event.”

Ample parking will be available in a lot beside the HEC, with overflow locations across the street and a nearby lot beside the Smith Farmhouse.

Cleland said runners will participate with their program teams, 32 in all. Start times will be staggered, with 16 teams starting at 8 a.m. and the remaining 16 teams starting at 10 a.m. The course will start and end at the HEC. The first finishers are anticipated to arrive at the finish chute at about 8:25 a.m. and 10:25 a.m.

The theme for this event is “Lace Up, and Power On!” Participation in the 5K is open to the public, but capacity is limited. The cost to register is $20. Runners will receive an event T-shirt. All proceeds will benefit Girls on the Run Upstate SC.

“USC Upstate is delighted to host the 2021 Girls on the Run Upstate SC 5K,” said Suzy Cole, interim first lady of USC Upstate, who will help lead the event’s opening ceremonies. “Girls on the Run focuses on empowering young girls, having a transformational impact on their lives by giving them a foundation to not only support their current health and fitness goals, but to inspire them for the rest of their lives.”

For more information about the event, registration and volunteer opportunities, please visit:

About Girls on the Run Upstate SC

Girls on the Run is a transformational physical activity based positive youth development program for girls. The girls are taught life skills through dynamic interactive lessons and running games. The goal of the program is to unleash confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness. Girls on the Run Upstate SC is an independent council of Girls on the Run International, which has a network of 200+ locations across the United States and Canada. For more information, visit: